Knowledge is power, but only wisdom is liberty - Will Durant
In the heat of the moment, us adults just want to rid ourselves of the emotional fire our kids have ignited for us.
For many of us, it's incredibly difficult to keep our composure and not add fuel to flame, lest do or say something that we regret later.
The H.A.L.T acronym is great and easy to remember.
H is for hunger - are we hungry? are our children hungry? None of us do well when we're starving. So let's make sure we feed the beast! Make sure the kids get something to eat when they get home from school. And there's definitely something to be said of making sure they get 3 square meals and something to snack on in between (fibrous fruit and nuts is great to sustain their energy levels).
A is for angry - we have to empathise with that, acknowledge that feeling and validate them. But we have to pick our moments when we want to discipline or teach. Wait for the flames to peter out first.
L is for lonely or lost - sometimes when our kids are...
Sometimes we make impulsive decisions in the heat of the moment when our lizard brains get far too ferocious. It's not all our fault, we were designed so that our limbic systems kick into gear when we sense threat or danger in the environment.
But sometimes we need a wizard to keep our lizard brain in check. We need a wizard to be able to assess threat with a little more nuance so we're not making decisions that we might regret later.
Of course, it's important that our lizard brain helps us to stay away from danger or deal with danger if it is imminent. But sometimes we use our lizard brain too much when we're making decisions in the future, and we over-estimate threat; that's when our wizard brain is more useful.
The reality is that we need both lizard and wizard. But i think it's better that the ol' wizard is riding the lizard than the other way around!
Tune in to Episode 7 of the Huddle Wisdom Podcast where I talk about this a bit...
I learn a lot from my patients. I catch myself saying things that I wouldn't normally say to myself, not because I don't believe them, but because I'm notoriously bad at following my own advice.
The question I have for you and for me, is do you (I) apologize enough? I know that I don't do it as much as I should because doing so means taking responsibility for the bad things that happen, and also the good things that happen. I have to take ownership for acts of commision or ommision that have caused harm whether on purpose or inadvertently. There's something inherently difficult about that. Perhaps it offends our sense of what is just, right and wrong. But life is complicated, it's not black nor white. Saying sorry makes us feel vulnerable, exposed and I think the willingness to be vulnerable signals strength in the end - I mention this not as a means to justify, but as observation. In the same vein, I want to forgive more. Isn't it tiresome holding on to past...
It can be really challenging to know how much tension to apply when we'd like our kids to do stuff, because we believe it'll be good for them. If you get resistance, consider the following before deciding how much pressure to apply.
When you think it's time to push; apply gentle pressure, like when you're teaching them how to ride a bike.
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Have you ever tried to stand up in the middle of a seesaw? If you're a little un-coordinated like me, this can be a little challenging. But even if you do have olympic level balance, your body still has to make adjustments in order to find your equilibrium. With a bit of work, soon you're standing up in the middle of it, perfectly balanced...well maybe not perfect, but enough to enjoy the imaginary applause of folks watching your efforts.
How did you find that balance up there? Sure, you can say it's just skill. But it's the 'wobble' that fed information to your body and brain that then induced you to take action and make adjustments until you find your equilibrium. You see, the 'wobble'...the struggle, is a necessary experience. Stay committed...keep showing up...stay consistent. Without the 'wobble' you can't find your equilibrium.
So if you're stuck in the middle of a wobble, don't lose hope...stay on the board...you'll eventually find your place. If you...
Sometimes kids have a hard time talking to you about things when they need the most help. Learn to use emotional intelligence and empathic connection to gain co-operation without the friction.